By Diana Kelly

Holiday Stressors

If you’re feeling overwhelmed this holiday season – and c’mon, who isn’t feeling a little pressure? – relief may be just an orgasm away. Before you write us off because we’re in the business of selling orgasms (via vibrators), scientists and medical experts have been touting the many health benefits of orgasms for years. While “feeling good” is the number one reason we seek out orgasms, one study of 2,632 U.S. women found that 39 percent of the women reported masturbating “to relax.”

Orgasm Science

Temporary relaxation isn’t all an orgasm will do for you. In a Planned Parenthood Whitepaper on the Benefits of Sex,  they say there is a growing body of research demonstrating that “sexual expression may have health benefits for improving quality of life and self-esteem and for reducing stress, depression, and suicide.” Sexual expression can be whatever type of sexual behavior brings you pleasure, whether that’s masturbation, intercourse or watching porn.

The whitepaper cites a 2001 study that found (what we’ve all pretty much known for years) that sexual activity and orgasm have been shown to reduce stress, likely due to the surge of oxytocin throughout the body, the brain chemical that accompanies orgasm. Oxytocin not only relieves tension, but it stimulates feelings of warmth and relaxation, according to researchers’ findings. The paper went on to highlight research that says “increased levels of oxytocin have been shown to reduce stress and alter an individual’s response to stress.” So perhaps if you have regular orgasms, you’ll be better able to smile through those slow-moving lines at the store, traffic jams and extra of work at the end of the year.

If you need a few more reasons why it’s important to maintain a satisfying sex life this season, know that orgasms can help boost your immunity, reduce frequent headaches, improve blood circulation to the brain, and give you more confidence—particularly if you’re having a vibrator orgasm, according to research. You can also check out our white paper on the Health Benefits of Orgasm here.

Have an Orgasm

Set up your bedroom for a soothing environment. Light fragrant candles or spray scents that remind you of happiness and pleasant memories, says Mindy Green, an herbalist, aroma therapist and coauthor of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art. In an article I wrote for Green recommends you take a deep breath of the scent to make everything that’s swirling through your head slow down.

Then, put on soothing music, wear something that makes you feel sexy (or nothing at all), and make sure your bed has your favorite linens and bedding on it so you’re set up for a sensual experience—whether it’s on your own or with your partner! 

The difference between sex and love is that sex relieves tension and love causes it.

— Woody Allen